Bowers call slide ‘heartbreaking’ but is ready to prove critics wrong
You can certainly understand why Da'Quan Bowers has kept a low profile. The Clemson defensive end was this year's big draft faller, a kid who, just a few months ago, was considered the possible No. 1 overall pick only to plummet to the second round, where Tampa Bay chose him 51st overall.
Bowers has emerged and, in an exclusive interview with NFL.com and NFL Network, said he's better for an experience that showed him how fragile life can be but how quickly things can improve.
Though, in his words, his slide was "heartbreaking," landing with Tampa Bay, a team that considered taking him in the first round, was a blessing. Coincidentally, it's also the team that drafted his dear friend and idol from Clemson, the late defensive end Gaines Adams.
"It's just overwhelming to be drafted by the same team that drafted him," Bowers said. "It's a sign from God."
Bowers said that he is beyond motivated to show that he is healthy and to prove the teams that passed on him that they made a mistake. Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik told me that the snub clearly has made Bowers hungrier, and coupled with Bowers' love of the sport, his intangibles could make him an even better player than anyone expects.
A few other notes disclosed by Bowers:
» He didn't know that his knee injury was problematic until he realized he couldn't participate at the combine. A red flag went off in his mind, as it did with several teams.
» Bowers' agent, Joe Flanagan, told him the day before the draft that based on conversations with several teams, there was the chance that he might not get drafted in the first round. Even so, Bowers didn't think it actually would happen.
» Bowers didn't know the extent of the surgery until he repeatedly heard some of the reports about his knee procedure. He thought he was simply having a minor scope and even though doctors told him they had to do additional work -- there was a minor micro-fracture procedure -- Bowers didn't know how serious it was.
» McCoy has called several defensive players to have their own workouts and Bowers would consider it. However, based on his rehab and not being under contract, it's unlikely he would participate in any physical activity.
» Bowers is training at Clemson with fellow draft picks Jarvis JenkinsJarvis Jenkins
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